Go east, young man

Yesterday afternoon, I decided to reward myself with a little trip. I’d just finished working six straight days, so I took a little trip. And since lately the motto for New England seems to have been “April showers bring May showers… which bring June showers,” I figured I’d take advantage of a nice, sunny, summer day, I’d head east.

Of all the states that have a seacoast, New Hampshire’s is by far the shortest. We have a scant 13 miles of the Atlantic shore we can call our own, so we have to make the most of it. But I’m not much of a beach person, so I just skittered up and down the coastline, taking in the sights.

One of those sights is the source of much of New Hampshire’s electricity, the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant. I couldn’t get very close, but it is quite visible from Route 1A, one of the main roads to the beach. It’s also a lot clearer than my cheap camera can depict.

Since New Hampshire’s short shoreline is squeezed in between Maine and Massachusetts, it’s heavily developed commercially. Since we have no sales tax nor income tax (something both states have), we get a lot of cross-border shoppers. In fact, our border communities are renowned for their aggressive touting of “tax-free New Hampshire” in their ads.

Seabrook, being just across the border from Salisbury, MA, is no exception. Route 1 is jam-packed with stores, strip malls, and all sorts of other commercial developments. My favorite, though, has to be this place.

Let’s see… adult club (with “nude ladies”), head shop, pawn shop, tattoo parlor, fireworks store, and comic book store. If this place doesn’t have SOMETHING that appeals to you, you live a very quiet life.

New Hampshire has some rather quaint notions about fireworks: far more are permitted than in other states. In other words, if you want them, get them. But if you blow your legs off with them, don’t come running to us. Every summer, Massachusetts puts on all sorts of “public service” announcements about how dangerous they can be, including the inevitable demonstration of a firecracker going off in a mannequin’s hand. Every summer, they announce a crackdown on Massachusetts residents bringing home and setting off fireworks that the Bay State bans. (Unless, of course, you’re a scion of a powerful political family, and set your 16-year-old son on fire with illegal fireworks, in which case you’re let off with a stern warning.)

But here in New Hampshire, you’re on your own. The store has its own warnings, and gives out safety brochures with each sale, but if you wanna blow yourself up, that’s your business.

It was only a few hours I spent over on the seacoast, but it was a nice, pleasant time, some much-needed “away” time — and once again, a reminder of how lucky I am to live on this side of the borders.

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